This past weekend’s abandoned match between Kano Pillars and Akwa United of Uyo in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) has been scheduled to resume on Monday, following fans invasion that botched the initial fixture.
A statement by Nigeria’s League Management Company (LMC) confirmed that the game at Ahmadu Bello Stadium between the two title contenders was abandoned due to pitch invasion by fans protesting the referee’s decision ruling out a late goal.
Megasportsarena.com reports that Pillars headed into the match second in the NPFL table with 49 points after 27 matches, trailing , by a point behind Coach Kennedy Boboye’s side from Uyo, who sit at the top of the NPFL standings.
However, the tense encounter had to be rescheduled after the visitors reportedly walked off in protest at the fans’ incursion, as Pillars’ supporters protested the referee’s decision to deny a late winner for the hosts, which would have taken them top of the table.
After a goalless first 45 minutes, drama ensued in the closing stages of the match after Kano Pillars had the ball in the back of the net, only for the referee to deem the effort offside.
The late effort from the hosts that the ref cancelled saw the home fans invade the pitch in complaint, following which match officials and The Promise Keepers were forced to flee the dressing rooms for safety.
Following the long hiatus, Pillars disclosed through their social media platform that the feisty encounter will continue at 8am on Monday.
The development, though, raises many questions, with observers wondering that, despite restriction on fans at NPFL fixtures by Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), in order to curb the spread of coronavirus, supporters were in attendance during Sunday’s contest.
In other NPFL matches last weekend, Katsina United defeated Enyimba of Aba 3-2 in their matchday 27 encounter at Muhammadu Dikko Stadium on Sunday, as the hosts scored three in the first half before The Peoples’ Elephant rallied back to reduce the deficit twice after the break.
Rangers International of Enugu recorded the biggest win of the weekend by thrashing Sunshine Stars of Akure 4-1 at Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium, while Dakkada recorded the only away win of the day edging out Warri Wolves 1-0 at Ozoro Township Stadium.
Adamawa United of Yola hit Rivers United of Port Harcourt 2-0 in another matchday 27 game, while Kwara United ended the unbeaten streak of Mountain of Fire Ministry (MFM) FC of Lagos, by handing The Olukoya Boys a 1-0 defeat at Ilorin Township Stadium.
At Okigwe Township Stadium, Abia Warriors continued their impressive form by winning 2-0 against Lobi Stars of Makurdi, while Nasarawa United continued their title push with a 2-0 win over Plateau United of Jos and Heartland of Owerri pipped Jigawa Golden Stars of Jalingo 2-1.